THE BLOG

Imperfection

04/03/2013 12:16 pm ET | Updated Jun 03, 2013

Genius is the error in the system. -- Paul Klee

A microwave map of the background radiation of the universe recently released by the Planck space mission reveals minute temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background, vestiges of light from the earliest moments of the universe that have just reached us. "Patterns over huge patches of sky tell us about what was happening on the tiniest of scales in the moments just after our universe was born," Charles Lawrence, U.S. project scientist for Planck at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said. These irregularities in the primordial fabric represent the clustering of gases from which embryonic stars and galaxies later concretized.

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Image courtesy of European Space Agency

Islamic artists will often break a pattern deliberately, interrupting the order and logic of a design. Geometric forms were thought to embody the divine order of the universe, and art revealed God's true nature through geometric design. Deliberate errors are evidence of humility and deference to the absolute perfection of Allah alone.

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Image courtesy of Pavel Dobrovsky

Had things in the early universe been homogenous, consistent, and perfectly balanced, nothing recognizable would exist. It was a miracle of imbalance, impurity, and irregularity that gave birth to the greatest unlikelihood, life. Maybe God is perfect, but everything we see and know grew from the error in the system.

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